Detroit House – An Interview with KDJ / Moodyman

“Kenny Dixon Jr., AKA Moodymann, is one of the most enigmatic and charismatic figures in house music. Despite his refusal to give interviews and play the press-and-promo game, Dixon Jr.’s voice has been clearly amongst the loudest when it comes to preserving the rich heritage of Afro-American music while fighting the industry powers that be. Blessed with an immaculate way of sampling, he takes stems from blues and soul and respectfully takes them to the next level. From his dark and dusty deep house tunes on Peacefrog, Planet E and his own KDJ label, to R&B-drenched outings on the Mahogani Music imprint, Moodymann’s fingerprint is unmistakable.”

Dance music royalty? No doubt.

As a very young kid running a record shop in the very early 90’s, I was lucky enough to rub elbows with some of dance music’s biggest names before this thing we call “House” was even on the mainstream cultural radar.

I have fond memories of some of the very first Winter Music Conference events (WAY before Ultra and any sniff of corporate involvement). One of them was being at the Fountainbleu bar when a hush and then murmurs of “it’s Mel” flittered around the place.

In he walked, followed by a small entourage. It was only later in life that I had the honour of connecting with him briefly again via the record store, at which point he sent me a prized West End t-shirt.

Find out more about Mel and the famed West End label in this great video.

Detroit Techno history – The Electrifying Mojo

One of the things I think a lot of newbies lack is a foundation based on understanding where the music has come from. I am no historian, but I think all of us should have a general understanding, and therefore respect for, those who paved the way. I’ve read a bit about the Electrifying Mojo and his influences on Detroit Techno artists, and he always seems like an amazing character. Red Bull have done a nice piece on him, well worth a read. I hope you enjoy.

House History – The Crazy Frenchman

If you like digging into the vaults of House Music like I do, you’ll enjoy this post about The Crazy Frenchman, aka Reynald Deschamps.

His early releases are definitely at the roots of the tree that the general public now calls “dance music” generally, and well worth exploring if you’re not familiar.

afterthegarage

I’ve had a bit more time to do some digging this week, so to follow on from the post about Pal Joey, here’s a bit about the guy that gave him his first break on Kool Groove recordsReynald “The Crazy Frenchman” Deschamps!  Despite Reynald’s reputation for being a bit out there, it’s not been easy to find out much about him – for a long time I could only find a few bits of info on Discogs and this 2004 post on the DJ History forum.  I knew of a few of his tracks from the early to mid 90s, but apart from Jazz It Up, released under his CFM Band moniker, I have to admit nothing much particularly grabbed my attention

Then, while looking for Pal Joey records, I noticed his name kept coming up again and again and thought I should dig a bit…

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